The Story

“Telling the world of my horrible pains has given me strength and continues to empower me to pursue my dreams. I have personally experienced some extremely difficult times –spousal abuse, imprisonment as a young adult, a nervous breakdown and treatment, loss of custody of my children, and battles with drug addiction. During these times I also faced homelessness and joblessness. I grew very angry and lived without purpose for many years. 


But the past 7 years my life has yielded more productivity than the previous 40 years combined. I'm active in my community. I give back by volunteering my time. I counsel victims of domestic violence. I also make a difference by mentoring and parenting my niece and nephew.  I started my own business, offering Efficient Business Solutions to growing companies. I facilitate Faith Group lessons 2 Saturday’s a month.  I’m renting a safe clean stable home in Farmington Hills.  Life is good!  Many people have asked ‘How did you do it?’  Although I am a single parent, I often felt alone, but I did not do it on my own.  It is my faith combined with the many resources made available through the Farmington Family YMCA.

The YMCA has been a blessing to my family in so many ways:

  1. Childcare –Jade, now 11, attended the A-frame before she could walk
  2. Camp Riley keeps the kids engaged and stimulated over the summers.
  3. The Farmington Y is close to our home and provides many great activities for our entire family! Because the children were diagnosed with chronic ADHD we opted as a family to double up on physical activity as opposed to high doses of medication. We exercise daily and start and end our day at the YMCA. This has allowed me to reduce their medication and their teachers have seen drastic improvement in their behavior. An added benefit is that I myself have lost 35 pounds.
  4. The iRise program here at the Y strengthened our family.  By helping me attain career, financial, health and personal goals, this program helped move my family forward.
  5. Scholarships - The monies awarded my family made it possible for me to take advantage of the many resources this Y offers. We received help with Child Care, Camp Riley tuition and Membership Fees.

In August 2013, I was granted custody of my niece and nephew. There were 3 weeks of summer remaining before school. Jane was attending Camp Riley but I had no plans for the other two children. I didn't know what to do, as I lacked the funds to get into any summer program.  Laura allowed them to attend three weeks of Camp Riley totally free. When school reconvened in September, she also provided a School Age Child Care scholarship, making it extremely affordable and easy for me to transition these children into a safe home and community. I really don't know what I would have done without the help of Y.


I just want to say thank you for all you do to help support families like mine. Thank you for what you continue to do. I wouldn’t be the person I am today and my family would not be who they are without the Farmington Family YMCA and people like you.”

- Devona R.